Meadowlark Prairie Trailhead / Amazon Creek





Meadowlark Prairie Trailhead

Meadowlark Prairie Trailhead is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends!

The trail starts in the forested hills of South Eugene, Oregon, and winds around Amazon Creek. At the trailhead, you can bike at Fern Ridge Path and find amenities such as restrooms, picnic tables, and a viewing area with interpretive signs. Birders who are interested in identifying bird species can pick up a free identification booklet at our visitor center.

Amazon Creek

Amazon Creek flows through the city and collects water from urban landscapes and storm drains. The majority of this water flows directly from the urban landscapes and storm drains of Eugene into the creek. This creek provides flood control, habitat, recreation, and restoration work like beaver protection, pesticide testing, and debris cleanups. During the rainy months, be aware that some sections of the path may be prone to flooding.


When walking near Amazon Creek, you’ll find prominent plants. The Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine is a common native tree in Oregon that helps capture rain and process carbon dioxide for the habitat. The willows have dense grey, green and yellow twigs that grow along the edge of the creek. The willows play a crucial role in shading the creek and working with other plants to maintain the banks. This is essential to prevent the water from becoming too hot, which reduces the amount of oxygen available for fish and bugs living in the creek. Moreover, when there is too much sediment, it disrupts the food chain and transport of nutrients. Too many willows can interfere with the flow of water. During the summer, you may spot Amazon Creek staff wading in the water to prune the willows. This practice, known as green piping, and it is essential for maintaining water movement and flow in this urban habitat. Keep an eye out for openings in the willows that offer views of the water.

River Critters

In the creek, you can find different types of waterfowl such as male and female mallards. The open bank edges and shallow waters are home to great blue herons and egrets that eagerly wait for their prey to swim, hop, or float by. Swallows can also be seen diving and hunting for insects on the surface of the creek. If you see chewed willow branches, it’s a sign that a beaver has been gathering material either to eat or to build with.

Author info

Follow the Water

Follow the Water

Follow the Water is about our relationship with our rivers. It’s about connecting people with our water—where we live, work, and play. It’s also about connecting our behaviors to the rivers so we understand that what we do affects water—both positively and negatively. Follow the Water is about learning and sharing new ways to be better to our water with your friends and neighbors.

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